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February 1, 2010

Google Translate Adds Haitian Creole

Google's translation service added support for Haitian Creole, the most popular language in Haiti. "Haitian Creole language, often called simply Creole or KreyĆ²l, is a language spoken in Haiti by about eight million people, which is about 80% of the entire population, and via emigration, by about one million speakers residing in the Bahamas, Cuba, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Belize, Puerto Rico, and United States," mentions Wikipedia.

It's an early release labeled as "alpha", so the translation quality isn't very high.

A week ago, Microsoft Translator added support for Haitian Creole. "In the current crisis in Haiti there are a number of initiatives to rapidly build software to assist in humanitarian aid. Responding to community requests for a machine translation (MT) system to translate between English and Haitian Creole, our team has been hard at work over the last few days. I am glad to announce that an experimental Haitian Creole MT system is now publicly available via several services and APIs powered by Microsoft Translator technologies. We will continue working on improving the system, but we hope meanwhile that in spite of the experimental nature – it will be of use in the relief efforts."

I used both Microsoft Translator and Google Translate to translate an article from VOA News. Google's translation (on the right) is much better:

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